I made two big mistakes in my business early on that really slowed down growth and, if we’re being honest, probably took a decade off my life.
Mistake #1: I didn’t hire any help because I thought I couldn’t afford it.
Mistake #2: I hired the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
Let’s dissect these a bit…
Early on, I did not feel ready to hire a VA and I definitely believed I couldn’t afford one. Not to mention the fact that I had zero time to train someone even if I did bring them on board.
Yet, the first real assistant I hired worked for me for six years and I honestly didn’t know what I’d do without her.
But let me tell ya, it was like pulling teeth to hire her — my own teeth, that is.
But the year I finally did, my business revenue increased by 101%!
My revenue doubled because the workforce doubled. But my brainspace quadrupled and so did my energy.
So, why did it take me so long to hire help?
Just like you might be, I said, “You know what, I’m so busy. It’s just easier for me to do it myself. Who has time to hire an assistant?”
And in that moment, I probably wasn’t lying. But that belief kept me stuck as a one woman show living on the hamster wheel of just getting by.
I set my own glass ceiling. I was the bottleneck in my business.
If I could do it differently, I would hire a VA way before I felt I was ready because it was the extra help that opened the door to exponential growth (not to mention happiness).
Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, Dallas. I’m on board, but how do I actually find the right people?”
Another good question. And this brings me to mistake numero dos.
Early on in my business, my mindset for hiring was backward.
I looked at the immediate problems my business was facing and thought, “Who do I know who could fill this need?”
It didn’t even occur to me to hire someone I didn’t know — that felt too inconvenient.
Instead, I looked for someone I was familiar with who could fill a hole.
In other words, it only occurred to me to hire someone to maintain the status quo, rather than someone who knew more than I did.
Then to add to the mess, I started to focus on hiring a jack-of-all-trades instead of hiring someone based on individual skill sets.
For instance, there was a point in my business where I was shifting from desk written blogs to video blogs. And guess who was editing them? — Me! Someone with no business in the editing bay.
So bringing on someone to help me edit my weekly blogs was the obvious next step for my business.
Then I realized my team needed additional support with customer service. Plus we needed extra hands on deck to help with the enrollment conversations for my new programs.
Before I knew it… I was on the hunt for one person who was great at sales, had the technical know-how to edit videos, and loved customer service. That’s a very tall order and pretty much unattainable.
So, I ended up hiring someone who knew video editing a bit, seemed nice enough to be good at customer service, and was open to sales training.
Not ideal to say the least. But it was as good as I could get if I wanted one person to deliver all of those tasks.
Spoiler Alert: That assistant lasted a whopping 19 days before he ditched the gig for something he was actually good at.
Thankfully, I’ve come a long way from my totally inefficient one-size-fits-all hiring and here are the two biggest lessons I’ve learned:
1. Always hire for growth.
2. Rather than hiring to fix obstacles, hire to create opportunities.
How do you do that?
Ask yourself: What area of my business do I want to expand?
For example, not long ago, I wanted help developing a thriving social media presence. So I sought out someone who’s zone of genius is social media management.
Then, around the same time, I realized I needed to delegate sales calls so I could have more time for private clients.
Instead of looking at which person on my team was best qualified for this, I sought out a graduate of all my programs with a sales background who I found to be articulate, on the ball, creative, punctual, and very gifted. He was perfect for the position. In fact, his sales conversion is better than mine!
Oh! How I hope you will learn from my mistakes so you’ll hire before you’re ready and always hire for growth. In fact, why not head on over to our Coaches on a Mission Facebook Group and tell more about who you’d like to hire. You just might find a fantastic referral.